A slew of big infrastructure projects underway in Vidarbha are expected to give an impetus to employment generation in the drought-hit region of Maharashtra, a government official has said. The MIHAN (multi-modal international cargo hub and airport at Nagpur), the Nagpur metro and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation's (MIDC) industrial estate in Butibori are the backbone of the region's economy. These projects have so far generated 13,462 direct jobs and 75,252 indirect employment opportunities, the official told PTI here. In the next one year, various expansion projects at MIHAN, where 142 companies are operational, will get completed and are expected to provide 36,519 direct and 3,42,142 indirect employment opportunities, he added. At present, MIHAN is generating direct employment avenues for 11,198 people while 64,952 are benefiting through indirect employment opportunities, he said. Air India's MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility, HCL Technologies, Hexaware, Infosys, Lupin, TAL Manufacturing Solutions, TCL, Tech Mahindra and Reliance Aerostructure are some of the prominent companies operating at the MIHAN. In the coming months, Patanjali Food Park, Indo-UK Institute of Health and some other companies will also start their operations in the MIHAN facility, he added. The official said they expect the upcoming Reliance Aerostructure to offer around 10,000 more direct jobs over the next 18 months. The Nagpur and Pune metro projects have already generated 16,915 new jobs (both direct and indirect), the official said, adding that companies like Ceat and Saaz Foods in the Butibori industrial area have given direct employment to 1,415 people.